Friday, March 20
No Hill Country for Young Women
My friend Olivia and I wanted to grab some hearty, American BBQ last night before the start of March Madness so we checked out this place near Madison Square Park called Hill Country. It should have been called “Cut a slab of mediocre beef yourself and pay as if you’re dining in a five-star gourmet restaurant Country.” I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I walked in.
We were greeted by a white man in a tight button-down shirt tucked into his Lees with cowboy boots on. That should have been our first inclination to immediately exit and never return. However, I had a $25 gift certificate from Restaurant.com that I wanted to use so we took the plunge. He told us that he was “all sold out” on reservations for that night. We looked around at the hundreds of empty wooden tables and looked back at him. I felt like he was speaking a foreign language to me. He somehow managed to “squeeze us in” and seated us at a rustic pine table and chairs set.
A waitress came over immediately and took our drink orders ($5 margaritas were among the only highlights of the night). She then handed us two brown menu cards and walked away. In front of us were several “deli counters” guarded by a sea of overweight men holding large knives and assorted cutlery. The waitress came back and explained that we actually need to go up to the counter, order our meat and the men would cut and weigh it for us. They then slap a price sticker on our menu cards. We then would walk over to the “sides” cart and the same process would ensue.
I’ve never been to Texas nor down “south” with the exception of Florida, which for some reason, is not considered part of the south. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure that the fat cat oil tycoons in Texas do not have to go up and serve themselves when they go out to a BBQ restaurant. I was both shocked and disgusted with this process. All I wanted to do was have a leisurely dinner with my best friend and have other people wait on me hand and foot. Is that too much to ask when dining out? What happened to southern hospitality?
I’ll skip all the gory details of our attempt to eat the said slabs of meat but to sum things up, it was not pretty. Mind you that we had to share our “napkins” (roll of paper towels) with the two gentlemen seated next to us. Along with the bbq sauce, hot sauce, pepper, etc. The night wasn’t a complete wash though, as we did enjoy some nice red velvet cupcakes. Six margaritas later, another white man in cowboy boots and an unfortunate button-down shirt walked over to our table and checked our “time card.” He then informed us that our table had “expired” and asked us to leave.
So if you would rather be treated like cattle than actually eat cattle, go to Hill Country. You and all the other out-of-town business men will thoroughly enjoy it.
Worst. BBQ. Ever.